Friday/ elements through the ages

I bought a nice little Japanese book (translated to English) by Bunpei Yorifuji called ‘Wonderful Life with the Elements’. In the first few pages he gives an overview of how mankind learned to extract and use more and more elements from the earth’s crust.  The universe is made mostly of hydrogen and helium, but Earth (by mass) is made of iron (32.1%), oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%), magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nickel (1.8%), calcium (1.5%), and aluminium (1.4%); with the remaining 1.2% consisting of trace amounts of other elements.

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Dead or alive, humans and trees have the same elements (presumably the ‘Dead’ in the picture refers to the soil and not the tree).
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Yes .. the primates did not extract any metals to make weapons. They just ate bananas and leaves.
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Here we go, now the metals such as copper, tin, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous are getting extracted and used by humans.
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In medieval times, iron was added, as was cobalt, gold and silver.
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Finally, today we have unearthed the ‘rare earth’ metals and put them into computers and cell phones and TV sets. I would have added a U for Uranium to this chart as well. But OK : I guess we are not talking nuclear submarines or power stations here, and hopefully very, very few homes have uranium in them.


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